Evolution of b2, 180° from WordPress!
b2evolution is a strong evolution of it's ancestor: b2/cafelog (their website has died in between).
Do you know what other project spawned from b2? WordPress!
Read on to learn how the lives of b2, b2evolution and WordPress are connected...
This is how François, the founder of b2evolution, has described the birth of b2evolution in the first couple of years:
Having been sick of Blogger's famous bugs and outages for too long, I switched to Michel V's b2 in December 2002.
b2 was already a great blog tool at the time and the future looked even more promising! At that time version 0.6.1 had been released for almost two months and everybody was expecting a new release soon...
Unfortunately, that release never came!
Even worse: Michel V, the project maintainer and main developer virtually disappeared! We were literally worrying about what could have had happened to him. He didn't answer any emails either...
Time was passing by and, little by little, the b2 project started looking like a dead end. A few people had already created forks in an attempt to add features. One was b2++ but it was very complex to install at that time and felt really weird... at least to us and to a few others. Another one was WordPress which was announcing a few interesting things but hadn't actually released anything by then...
By the end of April 2003, I just couldn't stand it any longer... There was so much more I wanted from b2 and absolutely nothing had moved positively for more than 6 months!
I could have switched to another blog tool again, but for some reason I decided to give it a try and just started hacking in the features I thought I desperately needed. I recall my first goal was to support multiple blogs so I could move back home another blog I was still maintaining in Blogger!
A little bit to my own surprise, I actually enjoyed refreshing my PHP/MySQL knowledge and decided to immediately follow-up on this by implementing some other features I considered paramount: Latest comments, multiple categories, realtime statistics, comments on same page, performance optimization, and a few more...
By May 2003, when I realized I had been working almost three weeks non-stop on an evolution of b2, I started considering releasing it publicly.
Ironically... a couple of weeks later, Michel V. made a short comeback and proclaimed WordPress as the "new official branch, once they get a release out"... and so WordPress rushed out their long awaited release.
I was undecided for a while... Matt from WordPress kindly asked me to virtually take everything I had already done and rewrite it into WordPress. So far I had been doing this for fun, but doing it twice really didn't sound like fun any more. So I decided that was too much work for too little benefit.
I thought it was more productive to continue developing the b2evolution branch... and here it is. I'm quite happy with it. I hope you'll be too!
Enjoy! And don't forget to check back for new releases ;)
After a while, it became clear that b2evolution and WordPress would evolve in different directions.
WordPress would be more focused on aesthetics and little on code. Most sites running WordPress have found that they required to install numerous third-party plugins to get the results they wanted. As of today, they still require frequent security patches and updates in order to stay operational.
b2evolution would be more focused on having a strong solid framework to rely on for future developments. Most features needed for common websites have been integrated in order to be immediately available within b2evolution. The platform is generally regarded as being very stable and secure. (b2evolution no longer includes original code from b2. Everything has been rewritten in the period 2003-2008).
Difference between b2evolution and Wordpress in 2018
As of today, Wordpress still focuses on the single blog or single website that you set up with a third party skin and a couple dozen third party plugins.
b2evolution focuses on offering a complete system out-of-the-box for building almost any kind of website. You can build just a few pages or just a blog, but you can also assemble home page + reference content + blog + discussion form + email marketing for a complete & professional website.
I was amazed that something like b2evo exists as open source. I haven't been able to find anything similar, at least in the PHP/MySQL world.
I am a fan of Wordpress as a single or limited multiple user blogging platform, but Wordpress couldn't handle a truly open blogging community. I would need 100 plugins (and some featured would still be missing) to accomplish what b2evo does out of the box.
12 comments, 1 webmention
Comment from: hoeve955 Member
Yes I use both, wordpress indeed for easier design options and more choice templates, but b2 evolution feels more nice/secure to work with and also more interesting and gives me more options to do larger content things (no add but after lots (years) of trying managed to get shake5.com done thanks to b2evolution - is just to give example that could not been done with wp, I tried that several times but no way)
But no designer myself, I could do with more template options, who knows a great plugin now and then and so on, but on the whole I prefer b2evolution - nice to work with.
Comment from: adi_kwok Member
What about for mobile windows, blackberry, android and iphone devices?
Im looking for multi user blog, which not taking 3-5 seconds,
or even minutes, just to be displayed, in small screen with gprs connection.
Hopefully this software could be the one, im looking for.
Comment from: fplanque Member
Yes we’re on the same page here!
b2evolution makes a distinction between 3 classes of devices: desktop browsers, tablets and mobile phones.
By default you send the same layout to all (possibly using RWD) but you absolutely have the possibility to use different skins (themes) for each class. That way you can send a much lighter version to mobile phones.
We will showcase this on our site shortly (we’re in the middle of a big redesign ;)
Comment from: dh.com Member
I’ve been using B2evo for over 2 years and I have websites running in wordpress too but I am totally hooked up with b2evo.
There are so many advantages to mention about b2evo…
The only advantage of wordpress is their tons of skins. ( I used the term “SKIN” because that’s one of the distinctive identities of this SOCIAL CMS.
Regarding security, my websites running in WP are receiving too many spams in a day but b2evo performs way better (almost zero spam or unwanted comments)
Comment from: ryan_oke Visitor
Great story! I’m ex b2 user.
Long time not following b2evolution development. Interested to try it again.
Comment from: oigreslima Member
I have been using B2evo and wordpress for more eight years… My goal now is to migrate all my domains that are running wordpress to my main domain that runs on b2evolution since version 1.6
Comment from: btreece Member
I’ve used WordPress for years (since nearly its first release), but constantly for one site from 2009-2016 (present). While WP has many features, from the ease of use in the admin to the huge variety of plugins and themes that add all sorts of useful functions and displays, I’ve learned over time that WP has these great features at a major cost: bloat.
The obvious argument is that relying so much on third-party solution for added features opens you up to varying degrees of coding standards. I’m a big proponent of using plugins and themes that follows WP guidelines for everything from namespacing to using the appropriate includes for CSS and JS files (wp_enqueue_script, etc.). I switch to a different add-on or do without to avoid bad practices. Even still, it’s nearly impossible to get the needed features for a multi-author publication site to accommodate readers without accumulating tons of bloat that slows the site down and drags servers resources over the edge.
So, I’ve been on the hunt for a viable replacement for WP the last six months. Craft CMS seems like a good option, but at too steep a price to find out (What about the free single account version, you say? You must have missed the multi-author part above…). Pagekit, Drupal, Joomla, October CMS, Processwire, Anchor, and numerous others all failed to meet the demands of publishing (site trees are not dynamic, no matter how much hacking you do). Bolt CMS was actually the front runner among all, and still is the second best option so far, until I came across recent b2evo activity in a Google Search.
There is a learning curve with b2evo, but it’s looking to be worth every bit of effort to learn it. It includes so much functionality that WP would need at least a dozen plugins to accomplish. And anyone who’s ever used bbPress knows what a pain that is.
B2evo is fast, modular, massively extensible, and perfect for complicated organizational structures, like most publications (not just a blog). It even includes multi-site support with appropriate domain/subdomain routing natively! Very impressed so far. And to think, I thought the project died. Glad to see it didn’t, and happy to help get the name out there more so more people realize what’s waiting for them.
Comment from: achillis Member
I have used both Wordpress and B2Evolution and back then I knew virtually nothing about php or coding. I have always had this curiosity about what lies beneath and love the concept of discovering new things. Wordpress offered a lot in terms of aesthetics but was empty under the skin. It lacked to much in features and functionality and finding plugins that was maintained was a nightmare.
Wordpress looked good and that was the only pull it had, while b2e looked rough around the edges but offered functionality that were great. I immediately dived into the code and starting teaching myself about php/MySQL. On the outside Wordpress was pretty, but under the skin it was a bit to chaotic for me, while b2e was written like a beautiful symphony and I learned not only about coding, but also coding standards. I have been using B2e since version 3.3.3 and always look through the code of every new release as it was full of notes revealing the exciting direction it was headed towards. I guess it’s like an exciting novel for nerds.
Over the last couple of years I came to consider myself not just a loyal supporter of this project but also, in whatever small way, a contributor. From having made some feature requests or suggestions to bug reports and it makes me proud to know that I have been part of this project and its evolution.
B2e has come a long way and I can see great things for it in the future. At first it may seem a bit overwhelming, but once you took the time to explore it and understand it you will love it.
Comment from: Miked Visitor
New to this, but b2e certainly has a good load of bells and whistles :-)
Comment from: Weopine Visitor
I used b2 back in 2009/2010. I loved it but was stuck trying to upgrade from current version. Site has been idle since then but Ive been considering reviving.
Has b2 gotten better and is it being maintained regularly? Id consider reinstalling it if I knew it was been updated regularly. It was always weak with templates, hopefully thats changed.
Is its long term viability secure enough at this point to consider jumping on the b2 band wagon again or will I be adandoned? The recent “are you using b2″ email, has me concerned.
Comment from: fplanque Member
@Weopine As you can see from the downloads page (https://b2evolution.net/downloads/), there are plenty of regular releases. We definitely maintain this.
The recent “are you using b2″ email was to check back on old user accounts, to ask if they’d be interested in knowing about the new features.
Webmention from: b2evolution.net Visitor
Some time ago, I got asked why we are making b2evolution. I started writing a blog post about it, but didn’t finish it at the time. Today seems like a good day to round it up ;) Short answer: we want a system that saves us time on website…
As I understand the statement made above, b2e provides a more complete, stable and secure solution compared than wp, in spite of wp’s extensive user base.
Has anyone here used both?